Debut puts other automakers on alert

A great market debut comes with great responsibility. “At a $100 billion, the company really has to execute to justify that number,” Ritter says. There are plenty of hurdles Rivian still faces as a publicly traded company. It had completed just 42 initial deliveries of its R1T model truck as of Oct. 22 and is counting on a major order from Amazon for its near-term revenue. While the retailer has said it will purchase 100,000 delivery vans from Rivian, the startup’sregulatory filings indicates Amazon is under no obligation to actually do so.

Rivian will also face competition from more well-established brand that have had EVs on the market for longer. About 160,000 people have pre-ordered Ford’s F-150 electric truck, the company said this week, while just under 50,000 customers have placed orders thus far for Rivian’s offerings. Legacy automakers, though, seem to be on alert following Rivian’s debut. While she didn’t mention Rivian specifically today, GM CEO Mary Barra said the high market valuations of  EV makers show her company is “so undervalued,” and she sees their investment in electric as a “huge opportunity.”

Correction: A previous version of this story gave the wrong role of a former Rivian employee suing the company. The lawsuit was filed by a former sales and marketing executive, not a human resources executive.

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